Happy 75th, Elvis Wherever You Are

No, this is not Elvis. It's Bill Driggers - 1974.

One night in January of 1974 Lt. Bill Driggers stopped in to shoot the breeze with me while I manned the desk at the Lancaster Police Department. He was not only a great cop but was also the kind of guy who should have been on a stage. He was one of two detectives in our department and was funnier than anyone I ever met. He told some of the most outrageous stories. His philosophy on police work was “We don’t make much money, but we have a lot of fun.”

He noticed that I was not my usual charming self and asked what was wrong. I told him that while I was in Columbia going through the Criminal Justice Academy an Elvis concert had been announced in Charlotte and the tickets sold out the first day.

“Know anybody in Charlotte?” I asked.

“I might.” He replied. “Let me see what I can do.”

That was it. End of conversation. Weeks passed and I forgot that I had mentioned it to him. Then one day he walked up and gave me this letter.

Yes, I still have it 35 years later!

I was dumbfounded. When I asked Bill how he got this done, he laughed then mumbled something about a bank robbery, my heroics and said not to worry about it. If he told Chief Porter any such story there was absolutely no truth in it ..... and I could not have cared less. The man had gotten me tickets to Elvis’s SOLD OUT CONCERT! To this day I don’t know what he said to make this happen.

But wait, there’s more. We got to the old Charlotte Coliseum, parked, waited in line and showed out tickets. We went down, and down and down some more. Imagine my excitement when I figured out our seats were on the stage floor. Then we were ushered forward, and forward and holy crap we were 10 rows from the front! May I remind you this was at a concert that SOLD OUT in one day!

When the lights went down after the intermission and the theme song from 2001 A Space Odyssey began well.... lets just say it was awesome! I have been to a few concerts in my time and no band, no single performer, no one has the stage presence of Elvis. No one.


Just about as far back as I can remember, Elvis was part of my life. Our family used to go to the drive-in once in a while and we saw a lot of Elvis movies there. I remember “It Happened at the World Fair, G. I. Blues and Flaming Star and I think we saw them all the same night! For those who don’t know a drive-in is kind of like a dvd player except the screen is not in your car but outside, you can only see it at night and mosquitos eat you alive in the summer!

Anyway in November of 1968 I happened to be watching NBC when Elvis hit the little screen. While my classmates were all into the Beatles, the Rolling Stones, Bob Dylan and the rest, I became a huge fan of Elvis. You can have you’re “Blowin in the Wind” and your “Satisfaction” and I will take “Trouble/Guitar Man” every single time.

Over the years many things have changed, for me and for all of us, I suppose. I have married, retired, been blessed with good fortune, good health and wonderful granddaughters. But I am still Taking Care of Business. (That is Elvis’ motto for the uninformed.)


A few months ago, I started teaching my granddaughter, Maddie, an Elvis song. I found a video from Speedway with Elvis singing “You’re Time hasn’t Come Yet, Baby” to a little girl. She watched the thing over and over. Then we practiced it as a duet for a few days. She learned the words, put her own growl into it and we are quite the pair singing it! I will spare you that and show you the original.

Now comes the dicey part of this hub. The last time Maddie and I were singing this she stopped and turned her little face up to me and asked the dreaded question.

"Pop, he is dead isn't he?"

How do you answer a question like that?

I believe that as long as we remember the man and his music, as long as we find peace in it, as long as it helps us through this troubled world, as long as we share it with our children and grandchildren Elvis will never die.

“When I was a child, ladies and gentlemen, I was a dreamer. I read comic books, and I was the hero of the comic book. I saw movies, and I was the hero in the movie. So every dream I ever dreamed has come true a hundred times...I learned very early in life that: ‘Without a song, the day would never end; without a song, a man ain’t got a friend; without a song, the road would never bend - without a song.' So I keep singing a song. Goodnight. Thank you.”
-From his acceptance speech for the 1970 Ten Outstanding Young Men of the Nation Award. Given at a ceremony on January 16, 1971. (Elvis quotes from copyrighted material with lines from the song “Without a Song”.)

In conclusion:

Bill Driggers,

You may be gone, but you are not forgotten. Thanks for the memories!

Elvis,

Keep on singin' the song, wherever you are!

More by this Author


Comments 24 comments

The Rope profile image

The Rope 6 years ago from SE US

Spense, you did an incredible work with a topic few attempt anymore. I am so glad to have found this hub! Now I want to see the video of this amazing granddaughter and yourself!


Pamela99 profile image

Pamela99 6 years ago from United States

What a great hub. I was an Elvis fan as I was growing up. There was no one else quite like him. Thanks.


resspenser profile image

resspenser 6 years ago from South Carolina Author

Thanks, Rope and Pamela99. Hubpages is a great place for something like this because it is fairly easy to get music, pictures and video into a piece.


T.J. 6 years ago

Another great job.Thank for the memorys of you and Elvis

Lt Driggers.


akirchner profile image

akirchner 6 years ago from Central Oregon

What a fond memory and one of my favorite guys...I remember all the movies, too and oh gosh - he was SOOOOO handsome....my grown son still groans when he hears me playing I Can't Help Falling in Love with You on the piano but I always tell him that's my Elvis song....love Bill's demeanor, too - you couldn't possibly ask for a better pal to get you those tickets....Audrey


resspenser profile image

resspenser 6 years ago from South Carolina Author

TJ,

You figured out how to use the comments? Wow! I am impressed.

Audrey,

Thanks for reading and TCB!


Amata76 profile image

Amata76 6 years ago from Central Illinois

What a great story! How I wish I could have seen him in concert :) And I would also love to see you and your granddaughter singing duet :) I also like how you sum up his memory, if we keep enjoying his music and sharing it with those we love he will never really be gone :)


resspenser profile image

resspenser 6 years ago from South Carolina Author

Thanks, Amata76. There was nothing like a live concert, for sure! Appreciate you taking a look. Your link is below.


JhunN 6 years ago

Oh my, I enjoyed reading it so much that I got stuck in your hub. My brother and I were big fans of The King of rock and roll.


resspenser profile image

resspenser 6 years ago from South Carolina Author

Glad you liked it Jhun. His music has been a big influence in my life.


mkgreene 6 years ago

Why have I known you 25 years and you never told me this one................................Elvis sang solo Maddy should 2.....lol

Mitchell


resspenser profile image

resspenser 6 years ago from South Carolina Author

I told you, you just were not listening as usual! LOL :)


dmgreene 6 years ago

Great hub!!! I thoroughly enjoyed reading it. I don't think I've heard this story before. What a great friend to have done that for you. Maddie asked me to play the song and she sang it for me. How great?!


resspenser profile image

resspenser 6 years ago from South Carolina Author

She sang it for you? That was our song! LOL! Glad you enjoyed it and thanks for commenting.


Lady_E profile image

Lady_E 6 years ago from London, UK

Wow - great story and Mr Briggers has a big heart. He more than made your dream come true. It's wonderful that you got to meet ELVIS, up, close and Personal. A memory, you'll never forget. Uh, huh huh.... :)


resspenser profile image

resspenser 6 years ago from South Carolina Author

Thanks for reading, Lady_E. Thank you, thankyouverymuch!


Ladybird33 profile image

Ladybird33 6 years ago from Georgia USA

I stumbled on this hub and just LOVED it. I am a big fan of Elvis and my parents always had him playing on the tv or radio, I grow up looking and listening to him. Great hub, thank you, brought me wonderful memories!


resspenser profile image

resspenser 6 years ago from South Carolina Author

Thanks, Ladybird33, for stumbling by. Check out my "Time to face the music hub". The ilnk is at the bottom of this page!


Granny's House profile image

Granny's House 5 years ago from Older and Hopefully Wiser Time

When I was young, i had all Elvis's albums. I told my mom I was going to marry him when I grew up. LOL

My granddaughter's name is Maddie too. What a nice tribute to your friend


resspenser profile image

resspenser 5 years ago from South Carolina Author

I still have mine! There is a new one coming out tomorrow called Viva Elvis, I think, which is music from the Vegas show. It is interesting to listen to.

Thanks for reading, commenting and following my stuff.


Pat 5 years ago

You are an awesome writer Ronnie.


resspenser profile image

resspenser 5 years ago from South Carolina Author

Thanks. Sometimes, it just flows. Come back and read some of my other stuff especially the LPD things!


tirelesstraveler profile image

tirelesstraveler 4 years ago from California

I am going to Memphis and taking my youngest son to Graceland next week. Reading your hub was a delight.

One of your videos is no longer available.


resspenser profile image

resspenser 4 years ago from South Carolina Author

I'm jealous! Thanks for reading my hub and commenting.

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